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Mauna Loa Observatory

A Scientist, His Work and a Climate Reckoning

A father-son pair of scientists and findings from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii are helping us understand the science of climate change

Posted December 22, 2010

Bassam Z. Shakhashiri

Bassam Z. Shakhashiri voted 2011 ACS President-Elect

His three-year term--which consists of a year as president-elect, a year as president and a year as past-president--will begin in January of 2011

Announcement in C&E News

In The Badger Herald

UW-Madison News

ACS Press Release

Posted November 17, 2010


Rep. Tammy Baldwin speaks at Chemistry Department Colloquium

Baldwin discussed the challenges that science funding will likely face in upcoming Congressional sessions, and was presented with a booklet from WISL containing chemistry Ph.D. thesis chapters that explain complicated research projects to the general public

In The Badger Herald

In The Daily Cardinal

Posted November 17, 2010


A costly quest for the dark heart of the cosmos

Scientists hope that the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer will lend important insights into what makes up the universe

Posted November 17, 2010


John Maeda: Innovation is born when art meets science

The technology and design guru argues that for invention to occur, scientists must embrace the art world

Posted November 17, 2010


USA Science & Engineering Festival Highlights

The festival was a free event which ran from October 10-24 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Posted October 25, 2010


Chemistry wins "Dance Your PhD" Contest

A chemistry Ph.D. student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, took home the top prize and $1,000 Monday night from the “Dance Your Ph.D.” finals in New York City.

Posted October 21, 2010

Climate Change

Americans' Knowledge of Climate Change

This report from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication contains results from a national study of what Americans understand about how the climate system works, and the causes, impacts, and potential solutions to global warming. Among other findings, the study identifies a number of important gaps in public knowledge and common misconceptions about climate change.

Posted October 21, 2010


Science and society: A Pacific divide

A global survey of the scientifically literate public reveals significant differences on key issues in science

Posted September 23, 2010

Climate Change

Climate Leadership Challenge launches competition with $50,000 grand prize

This philanthropic innovation competition run by the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment seeks proposals for products or programs that address the causes or impacts of climate change

Posted September 27, 2010


The fourth annual Strategic Leaders Global Summit on Measuring Quality in (Post)Graduate Research and Training was held earlier this month in Brisbane, Australia

Posted September 23, 2010


The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology release a plan for improvements on K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education

Posted September 23, 2010


Prof. Shakhashiri participates in ACS presidential debate on "Science Studio" radio show

Hosts Dr. Keith Pannell and Dr. Russell Chianelli interview the candidates in a question and answer format

Listen to the debate here

Posted September 22, 2010

corpse flower

Campus "corpse flower" poised to bloom

The Titan Arum -- a.k.a. corpse flower -- is in bloom at the D.C. Smith Greenhouse; the pungent bloom will only last for between 24 and 48 hours

Updates on the bloom can be found here

Posted September 22, 2010

Helen Blackwell

UW-Madison Chemistry Associate Professor Helen Blackwell featured in Discover Magazine

In her "Field Notes" column, writer Dava Sobel spotlights Blackwell's research in bacterial communication

WISL Featured Scientist: Helen Blackwell

Posted September 14, 2010


UW-Madison Chemistry Professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri campaigns for 2011 President-Elect of the American Chemical Society at the ACS Fall 2010 National Meeting and Exposition in Boston

ACS was founded in 1876 and is the largest scientific organization in the world (161,000 members). Shakhashiri is one of two candidates (the other is Luis Echegoyan of University of Texas-El Paso) and if elected  will become the third UW-Madison faculty member to serve as ACS president; Farrington Daniels in 1953 and Charles P. Casey in 2004 were the others.

Posted September 3, 2010



Bassam Z. Shakhashiri and Jerry A. Bell named ACS Fellows at Fall 2010 National Meeting

The ACS Fellows Program was created by the Board of Directors in 2008 "to recognize members of the American Chemical Society for outstanding achievements in and contributions to Science, the Profession, and the Society." The honor of a fellow designation is bestowed on ACS members who have achieved excellence in two defined areas -- scientific/professional accomplishments and service to the ACS.

Posted August 30, 2010

AAAS Early Career Award

Nominations for the AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science are open through October 15

The award, established in 2010, recognizes early-career scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence in their contribution to public engagement with science activities

Posted August 27, 2010

The Same and Not the Same

Display by WISL Fellow Ron Perkins is up and ready to view in the Shain Atrium

The display, titled "The Same and Not the Same," was developed by Perkins and includes a contest for those who wish to participate; it is located in the lobby display case on the first floor of the Chemistry Building.

The contest winners!

Posted August 25, 2010

God and Science

Scientific and religious communities can work cooperatively, speakers say

The assumption that science and religion are incompatible is hardly the case, according to a panel discussion organized by the AAAS program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion

Posted July 20, 2010

Bassam Z. Shakhashiri

Prof. Shakhashiri celebrates 50 years as a Boston University chemistry alumnus

Posted July 6, 2010

Baseball Bat

Bringing some science to bat

A Madison baseball bat maker hopes his scientifically-designed bats will catch on with major leaguers

Posted June 28, 2010


Call to action: Finding heroes in science and engineering

Larry Bock, founder and organizer of the USA Science and Engineering Festival, discusses the importance of positive role models in science and engineering

Posted June 24, 2010


Astronomer Copernicus reburied in Polish cathedral

The man who asserted that the earth revolved around the sun was also head priest of Frombork Cathedral in northern Poland

Posted June 8, 2010

Oil Spill

The Science of the Oil Spill

Science magazine takes a look at five issues relating to the recent oil spill

Posted June 1, 2010

Martin Gardner

Martin Gardner, puzzler and polymath, dies at 95

Gardner was a wide-ranging and prolific writer, as well as a brain-teasing puzzle writer for Scientific American

More about Gardner, including a complete list of his works, on Wikipedia

Posted May 24, 2010

Dr. Laurens Anderson

Dr. Laurens Anderson celebrates 90 years

WISL was proud to celebrate the 90th birthday of one of our colleagues, WISL Honorary Fellow and Professor Emeritus Laurens Anderson, on May 19

Posted May 24, 2010


New documentary focuses on young scientists

WHIZ KIDS is a coming-of-age documentary that tells the story of three remarkably different yet equally passionate 17-year-old scientists

Posted May 18, 2010


Special Online Collection: Science, Language and Literacy

In a recent issue, Science magazine devoted a special section to the exploration of science literacy, a topic at the heart of WISL

Posted May 6, 2010


Engineering students win Climate Challenge at UW-Madison

A device that would help provide electricity efficiently and at low cost in rural areas of developing countries took the top prize of $50,000

Posted April 28, 2010


New study says oceans' chemistry changing rapidly

The National Research Council is reporting that because of the carbon dioxide being absorbed from the atmosphere, the oceans are changing faster than they have in hundreds of thousands of years

Posted April 23, 2010


Earth-like planets may abound in the Milky Way

Astronomer Frank Drake's postulation from nearly a half century ago may be correct

Posted April 15, 2010

Women Scientists

Trailblazing black scientist encourages women to follow suit

Michel Martin of NPR's "Tell Me More" talks to Shirley Jackson, president of Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York and the first African-American woman to run a top research university, about being a woman in a male-dominated field

Posted April 12, 2010

Science Fair Project

Regional science fairs growing in content and importance

This isn't your father's science fair

Young scientists display research at annual fair

Young scientists and engineers reveal breakthroughs at fair

Students show off hard work at district science fair

Posted April 12, 2010

Frank Drake

SETI @ 50: Only a matter of time, says Frank Drake

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence began in earnest 50 years ago, led by a young American astronomer named Frank Drake - a man, who is still confident we'll eventually find extraterrestrial civilizations

Posted April 12, 2010

Earth Day 2010

ACS to celebrate Earth Day with annual program

This year's theme for the Chemists Celebrate Earth Day program is "Plants -- The Green Machines!" The event will include contests, educational resources and more. Earth day is Thursday, April 22, 2010.

Posted April 8, 2010

Jaime Escalante

Renowned high school math teacher dies

Jaime Escalante, known for his successful teaching efforts in a poor Hispanic neighborhood in Los Angeles, died on March 30 at the age of 79. A Bolivian immigrant, Escalante used unconventional techniques to show his students that mathematical problems were within their scope of understanding, despite coming from a school with poor test scores and a high drop-out rate. His successes were detailed in the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver."

Also in 1988, Professor Shakhashiri, then assistant director of the National Science Foundation for Science and Engineering Education, invited Escalante to be on his national advisory committee.

Posted April 7, 2010

Photo credit: Linda Wang

Nominees announced for 2011 president-elect of the American Chemical Society

On March 24, at the national meeting in San Francisco, Professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri was voted by the ACS Council to be a candidate for ACS president-elect along with Professor Luis A. Echegoyen, who is the NSF chemistry division director while on leave from Clemson University. If elected in the fall by the general membership, Bassam will serve as ACS president-elect in 2011, president in 2012, immediate past president in 2013, and will become the third UW-Madison faculty member to serve as ACS president (Farrington Daniels 1953 and Charles P. Casey in 2004). All ACS members are urged to vote and to urge other members everywhere to vote for the candidate of their choice.

Posted March 29, 2010


The thrill of science, tamed by agendas

Approaches differ widely in the science museums of today, sometimes stretching the connection to actual science

Posted March 18, 2010


Five UW-Madison Faculty Members Receive 2010 ACS Awards

Posted March 10, 2010


Draft of K-12 Common Core State Standards Now Available for Comment

For the next three weeks this official draft, released by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), will be available for comment. While the process was led by these official organizations, input was also sought from educators, researchers, content experts, national organizations, and community groups.

Posted March 10, 2010


Foreigners Earning Science and Engineering PhDs in U.S. Tend to Stay

Newly released data from the U.S. Energy Department's Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education revealed that most foreigners who came to the U.S. to earn doctorate degrees in science and engineering stayed in the U.S. after graduation, refuting fears and predictions that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks would create restrictions on immigrants and would send more of them home

Posted February 25, 2010

South Pole

Cutting edge science at the bottom of the world

UW-Madison Professor Francis Halzen is currently leading a team of researchers at the South Pole in building the world’s largest telescope to search for some of the universe’s smallest particles

Posted February 19, 2010

Visualization Challenge

The International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge 2009

Science Magazine and the National Science Foundation have announced the winners in this seventh annual challenge in categories including illustration, photography, informational graphics, and multimedia

Posted February 19, 2010

Creating a Zine

Year of Science Zine Contest Winners Announced

After reviewing over 250 submissions, a panel of six judges has selected the winners of the Year of Science 2009 Science Zine contest - a contest sponsored by the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) and the Small Science Collective

WISL has contribued prizes that will be awarded to the winners.
View some of the winning submissions

Posted February 17, 2010

Fast Food

Will calorie listings curb our fast food habits?

A proposed law in Wisconsin would require chain restaurants to post nutrition information

Posted February 11, 2010

Lake Michigan

Feds announce new action to battle Asian carp

The Obama administration has announced a new strategy for preventing the invasive fish, which have been moving up the Mississippi River, from reaching the Great Lakes

Posted February 9, 2010


After the smoke clears

Indoor Chemistry: Tobacco residues reacting with chemicals in the air are forming dangerous "third-hand" smoke

Posted February 9, 2010

God and Science

"God Loves Science" program scheduled for this Saturday

Madison's First Congregational Church of Christ will hold the event to help kids understand the compatibilities between science and religion

Posted February 9, 2010

Year of Science 2009

Looking back on the Year of Science 2009

A recap of this national, year-long, grassroots celebration of science, shining the spotlight on "How We Know What We Know."

Posted February 9, 2010


Science of the Olympic Winter Games

NBC has teamed up with the National Science Foundation to deliver a 16-part video series on the science behind individual olympic events, from curling to ski jumping

Posted February 8, 2010


Will Science Take the Field?

Surveys show that some athletes are at higher risk for brain injury because of repeated blows to the head. UW-Madison's Deborah Blum, in an op-ed piece for the New York Times, asks why it has taken so long for stricter safety standards to be put in place.

Posted February 4, 2010

Hand Warmers

What's That Stuff: Hand Warmers

The small packets that keep your hands warm during the chilly months work through a simple exothermic reaction

For more "What's That Stuff?" from the ACS publication Chemical and Engineering News, visit the link on our Science is Fun home page or go directly to the C&E News site.

Posted January 25, 2010


Science and Engineering Indicators 2010

Science and Engineering Indicators 2010, the biennial report to the President and the Congress of the United States was just released by the National Science Board, the governing body of the National Science Foundation. The massive volume of quantitative data on the U.S. and international science and engineering enterprise was compiled by NSF's Division of Science Resources Statistics. It provides a factual and policy-neutral description of the scope and vitality of the global science and engineering enterprise. It is an excellent resource and a must-read for anyone interested in science research and education.

Posted January 19, 2010


Speaking of Memory: Q&A with Neuroscientist Eric Kandel

First a student of history and literature and later a psychiatrist, the Vienna-born Columbia University professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator has emerged as one of the most prominent brain researchers of the century

Posted January 7, 2010


President Obama makes educational announcements; bestows awards

In addition to announcing an expansion of his "Educate to Innovate" campaign to include STEM education, the president is also honoring over 100 outstanding math and science educators. For more information on the recent announcements and awards, please use these links:

"Educate to Innovate" expands to STEM education

Background on math and science teaching awards

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) awardee profiles

PAEMST fact sheet

Posted January 6, 2010

Global Warming

On issues like global warming and evolution, scientists need to speak up

With today's 24-hour news cycle, it's more important than ever that scientists keep an open dialogue about new research and discoveries

Posted January 3, 2010


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